We recently met up with Veronica at a family celebration. She was the victim of a kidnapping in Juarez, one of the many young women who tragically go missing in the city. But her ordeal had a happy resolution thanks to the faith of her mother and the intercession of our founder, Fr. Rick Thomas, S.J. We wrote about this in 2016 when it happened, but it’s a wonderful testimony of the power of prayer and bears repeating. This is what her mother shared with us from that harrowing event 6 years ago:
On the 11th of December, my 20-year-old daughter asked permission to go to a party with her friends. My husband said no because it is very dangerous in this city. She complained that she was an adult now but that we still treat her like a child. Later she asked my permission since she knew it was easier to work on me, and I relented, saying she could go but that she needed to be home by 11 p.m.
Well, 11 p.m. came and went and my daughter did not come home. I tried to text her, then call her, but there was no response. My husband and I watched in the cold outside for a couple of hours, but still, she did not arrive. At 1 a.m. we both took to the streets to look for her. When we didn’t find her, we went to the jail, to the hospital, and finally to the missing persons department at the police station. They wanted a photo of her and her description and any identifying details to make up a flyer to be posted in our neighborhood and surrounding area.
After bringing all that to the officer and getting the flyers made to distribute, I came back on the bus crying. It was now 7 in the morning. I pleaded with God for the safety of my daughter and asked for the intercession of Father Thomas. “Father Richard,” I begged, “please help me find my daughter! You were a good and noble man who loved all of us very much. For me you are the great saint of the Food Bank. Help us!” When I finished the prayer, I closed my eyes and clearly saw the smiling face of Father Thomas. He told me, “Don’t worry. Your daughter is back at home.”
I quickly phoned my husband, who was still out searching the streets, and told him, “Go back home because our daughter is there.” He asked excitedly, “How do you know? Did she contact you?” “No,” I told him. “Father Thomas, the saint of the Food Bank, told me.” He didn’t believe me and thought I was crazy but agreed to go home and check. When he got there, he phoned me in disbelief, “Our daughter is here. She’s here!”
Our daughter told us that when she was riding in the car with her friends, the “police” stopped them. The boy driving the car did not have his license, so they detained all of them. However, they were not taken to a police station but to some strange building. There they separated the young man from the girls and locked the girls in a dark room. The girls were terrified. Sometime later they heard someone say to the men holding them captive, “Let them go. Let them leave.” Surprisingly, the captors let all the youths go. That’s how they managed to escape and find their way back home. They don’t know what happened, who that person was, but they were free. Thanks be to God, and thanks to the intercession of Father Thomas.
The mother declared, “I will not stop praying for the canonization of this great saint, Father Richard Thomas!”